Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My day in lab

7:00am - breakfast
7:25am - ask junta to wake me up at 9:00
7:30am - go to sleep
9:00am - angrily drive away idiots who try to disturb
12:30pm - wake up
12:31pm - check mail
12:35pm - brush
12:45pm - shower
1:00pm - lunch
1:15pm - tarams
1:20pm - feel the heat of madras, reconsider the 1km ride to esb
1:30pm - back in room
1:45pm - quake
3:30pm - reminisce
3:45pm - tarams
4:00pm - sleep

well, time for tarams...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Rich man's poor world

"Paisa to haath a mayl hota hai". Whoever said that must have been filthily rich; obviously, he had never experienced that most humiliating and debilitating of all sicknesses - poverty.

I have recently been afflicted with a form of poverty. Not the malnutrition, starvation, illiteracy, or multiple childen-producing variety - that is for the have-nots, but a slightly richer form. I have a mess account that feeds me enough to keep me fat, all modern sanitary amenities, heck, even a computer and a free internet connection to blog on. But, my net cash worth, not counting the several people I owe debt to, would be around Rs. 1.75 right now.

The thing in common with both forms of poverty is the frustration. I can't get my cycle repaired, I can't buy any more cigarettes, can't buy soap, and I am definitely not in the right place needed for ordering a pizza and a veg. burger with extra mayonnaise and a bottle of coke. That pretty much rules out vodka alright.

So, what do I do? I look up to my wingmates and other friends for monetary support. Rs. 5.25 for a Navy Cut and a Rasna packet from Kuntry, 20 bucks for soap from Panchali, 5 bucks from Bachi for a puncture repair... basically, I get into debt. The month goes on, and the debt keeps accumulating. The first of the month approaches, stipend is withdrawn happily, then debts are paid off - and poof! - all the money vanishes.

I am caught in this vicious circle of borrow and pay back. It's essentially the same concept as that of a credit card, only with the added humiliation of approaching someone at the end of the month asking them for a monetary favour, and sometimes getting weird looks and a beat-about-the-bush conversation that basically means "fuck off".

Oh, how I am waiting to get paid for work, and then treat all those who helped me get by!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Long overdue post: Hostel nite

Mandak hostel nite rocks. Has always. Will always.

Inspite of the dean's instructions and threats against having it, this year's hostel nite saw a repeat performance of last year's Raindance™. However, this time not only was it indigenously designed, but it actually performed better, showering more water per square foot than ever. And of course, there was the now-cliched strut and disco lights arrangement, which Mandak proudly introduced in my third year and which has been shamelessly copied by every other hostel nite ever since.

We started by planting a tree in memory of Jhantu in the Mandak yard - May he rest in peace. One by one, we poured water to nourish its roots, and subsequently observed a two-minute silence.

Food Plaza supplied the grub. That itself was not so good, but they also offered unlimited ice-cream, which junta thulped like month-starved pigs. Being a fifth year has its own advantages, primarily that of cutting the line and my Alak guests and I made our way to the ice-cream before dinner had started in earnest.

Most third year get senti at some point or the other, as the night draws in, and the hugging and weeping starts. I remember our third year, when so many of us inconsolably cried ourselves shitless for hours after the toast. But one has to give it to the present batch - there was an excusable amount of senti of course - but I was almost a strangling victim by the hands of Fart.

Raindance™ was followed by the toast, and in another great Mandak tradition, it went on and on - night turned to dawn, dawn to morning - and finally it finished at 6:30 am with none other than yours truly's rape, after which all those remaining went for breakfast to the great Himalaya.

After the roast, going with the senti mood, I recited "Life@IITM", a poem I had written last year for Mandak nite.

Also present on hostel nite were Jha, Banner, TG and Meha. Jha was the wild dancer as ever, a combination of monkey and elephant in heat with his new Medusa hairstyle flailing about like half-crazed octopuses trying to attack a whale. As for the other three; Banner kept popping into the dance floor every now and then; TG clicked away photographs, made not-so-obscure anti-drug references; and Meha spoke with nothing and no one. Seemingly, their minds full of other things, they weren't really enjoying it.

The blast over, we all retired to our rooms for some sweet sleep till 3pm, when another Mandak enthu-fest - the Treasure Hunt - was poised to begin.

But that is another story for another time.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

What a mess!

The aptly named Himalaya officially started (dys)functioning today. I've been registered into the Northie section of the RR mess, as have 1100 others. Contro and Khokhar accompanied me today on this rather adventurous journey to the first floor. But that was the easy part. When we got upstairs, there were like sixty people standing in line in front of us, and the line wasn't moving.

It was a poond-or-die-starving decision. I chose the former. Bad decision. Perhaps waiting would have whetted my appetite so that the distasteful food would at least seem palatable.

When the food finally arrived, there was a sabzi with unpeeled potatoes in dalda, curry that looked like shit (a tasteless but literal analogy), pooris so hard they could put a hammer to shame, and daal conspicuous by its utter and complete absence.

One more great decision by the great powers-that-be to make hostel life even more miserable. Every time they make such asinine decisions, it makes me happy to know that I will be out of here in a few months' time.

And they wonder why IITM grads never pay any homage to their alma mater.